Tag Archives: anger

Handling Strong Emotions

The Retreat on Buddhist Psychology continues in Key West, Florida. The date is November 7, 1997. This is the sixth talk (96-minutes) offered as an audio recording below. If you wish to view the video, please make a small donation on our Patreon account.

Seed of anger. Mindfulness of anger. How do we practice with this energy of anger? How do we make peace with another in which we are angry? One method is to use the practice of deep looking. First, we generate our energy of mindfulness. Then we recognize our anger. Finally we look deeply into the nature of our anger. Teaching on the four mantras, deep listening, and loving speech. We can restore communication.

Thay shares the text of a song he wrote to help us with our practice.

It rains softly outside, and yet I feel the sadness and the sorrow coming up in me.
Please go to sleep my little pain and let my in breath and out breath embrace you tenderly.
I know you are there and I do my best to take good care of you.
You know I am trying to plant and water the seeds of harmony and loving kindness everyday so tomorrow from the soil of my consciousness flowers of peace and joy and forgiveness will bloom for everyone.
Please go to sleep my little knots. My little pain.

With this practice there will be transformation and tomorrow we will be able to accept and love each other.

How are we watering our store consciousness through our consumption? Are we intoxicating ourselves with seeds of craving and despair? Thay shares his excitement about mindfulness being applied in legislation (smoking) and in what we can buy in the supermarket (tofu). The five mindfulness trainings are a concrete practice to help us to become more mindful of our consciousness.

We continue with a deeper teaching on the first aspect of meditation: stopping.

In the concluding 15-minutes, we return to the teaching on the verses of consciousness. We are on verse 13 exploring inter-penetration.

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Why Am I Myself?

From the Stillwater Meditation Hall at Upper Hamlet, Plum Village. This is the third question and answer session of the annual Summer Opening retreat at Plum Village on July 23, 2014. The talk is in English and both the audio and the video are available below.

Children

  1. Why do monks and nuns always have brown clothes and no hair?
  2. How can I express my anger without taking it out anyone?
  3. Why does a seed give birth to a flower and sometimes not? Why am I myself as I am and not as the others?
  4. Why did you make Plum Village?

Teens and Young Adults

  1. I’m not the only one who feels lonelineness and sadness about myself and I’ve had struggled with self hatred. How do I learn to care and love myself and stop negative perceptions?
  2. In school it is very competitive and there is a lot of pressure to succeed. I feel like I need to work harder. How do I take it easy without hurting myself further?
  3. How can I love myself more and how can I have more confidence in myself?

Others

  1. It seems we live in a global culture of non-stop talking. Can you help us learn more about the practice of silence?
  2. I have a friend who’s father was diagnosed with cancer. His father shared he was contemplating suicide. What should he do?

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Children and their Experience of Divorce

July 11, 2013. 82-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet in Plum Village during the 2013 Summer Opening. This is the third talk of the summer and it is a session of questions and answers.

Children

  1. Why does the world exist?
  2. I don’t understand about love because my parents got divorced and they yelled at each other.
  3. What does God look like to you?
  4. How long are you/I going to live?

Teens and Adults

  1. When parents get divorced, why do they fight in front of the children and also say they love the children?
  2. I have a friend who is always unkind to me and then later he is concerned about me. Why does he do that?
  3. How can have stillness and joy?
  4. How can transform the guilt inside for my parents getting divorced?
  5. I don’t know how to deal with my anger, especially when I am angry. What can I do?
  6. How do I practice with my parents/grandparents when I haven’t met or seen him?
  7. A friend is on drugs. How can I deal with being overwhelmed by this person?

French Television

  1. What is the meaning of prayer in Buddhism?
  2. What are the different kinds of prayer in Buddhism?
  3. What can prayer offer to humanity?

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Fear, Anger, and Suspicion

June 13, 2013. 76-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. The talk is given in English with simultaneous translation into German. This is the second dharma talk of the German Retreat on the theme Are You Sure?

We begin with a story of being in the womb and then our birth. A moment of fear may have arrived at the moment of our first breath after being taken care if the 9-months in the womb. A second emotion arose at that moment too. Desire. Many of our other emotions were also transmitted to us by our ancestors.

Obama said that “peace is possible” between Palestine and Israel. But how? Last month Thay also spoke about peace in Korea. The main issue is the amount of fear we have. With no fear, no anger, and no suspicion then we wouldn’t need to use nuclear weapons. It’s not the weapons. We need to remove the fear, the anger, the suspicion. This is how peace is possible. Right now, both sides are suspicious and fearfully but it has to be removed from both sides. Obama could do this in Korea but making nuclear weapons a condition of negotiation is not going to help in reducing fear. It’s not that people don’t want to reconcile but there is so much anger and fear. We have to reduce this fear.

The American nation is also suffering and experiencing anger, fear, and despair. In 2001, Thay suggested a session of deep listening for the American people and invite those who have compassion and understanding to be present to support the listening seasons. We have to understand our own suffering. This is the same recommendation Thay have to South Korea last month.

One solution is to train our leaders to reduce fear, anger, and suspicion. To call on those who know how to do these things. A retreat can be organized so people can come express their fear, their anger, their suspicion. We can practice compassionate listening and look at our block of suffering. When these emotions of anger and fear have a collective energy, it can be so dangerous and there could be a war.

Compassionate listening and loving speech. Thay gives a few more examples, such as the work done by Plum Village with Israelis and Palestinians, of how to do this in our lives. Today.

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Be Free From Fear

November 1, 2012. 76-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from New Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is enjoying the Autumn Retreat and this is a Day of Mindfulness. This is the 8th, and final, dharma talk of the fall retreat. Thay begins with a short review of what’s been covered in the last four weeks.

Today we will look more deeply into the nature of our birth and our death. We begin with an analysis of a cloud. What is a cloud and when does it exist? We have to look at the cloud with eyes of signlessness. The rain is the new form of the cloud. How do we appy this to our own being? Is there really birth and death? There is only continuation.

Collective action. In Buddhism, the notion of action is very important. It is called karma. Triple action: thought, speech, and action. With mindfulness we can recognize our thoughts and make a decision that they produce healing and reconciliation. In order to so, we need Right View and Right Understanding. What is the connection between birth, death, and karma?

We need mindfulness and concentration to gain the insight if Right View. Birth and death inter-are with each other. Thay teaches briefly on each of the other elements of the Noble Eightfold Path.

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Bringing the Practice to Life

July 12, 2012. 84-minute recording given at Upper Hamlet, Plum Village by Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the fifth dharma talk of the Summer Opening. We begin with chanting and the talk was originally given in French. This is an English translation.

With many questions about anger in yesterday’s questions and answers session, Thay offers a lovely 25-minute lesson for the children (and everyone of course!) on helping our friends who may have anger.

What can we tell our friends about meditation? Meditation is looking deeply with our eyes, mind, and your heart. Meditation is looking. We can see things other people can’t hear. Meditation is listening. Concentration. A person who meditates can see the cloud in the flower. There is much more there in the flower. To see the flower deeply you have to recognize the non-flower elements.

The same can be said about people. We all have non-human elements such as anger. We all have the seed of anger. What can we do to help those who suffer from anger and violence? If we practice meditation, we can see the seeds of compassion and kindness in that person. What can we do to water those seeds in him? We can water the seeds of kindness. We can practice selective watering of the good seeds. We can sign a peace and happiness treaty with our friends and our loved ones in order to support each other.

After the children leave, Thay reminds us that we need a spiritual dimension to deal with difficulties in our daily life. We need practices to deal with the difficulties. In the Buddhist tradition, we have a spiritual body in addition to our physical body. We are offered a teaching on dharmakaya (dharma body) and buddhakaya (Buddha body). If our dharma body is solid, we can deal with our difficulties. There is also a sangha body (sanghakaya). We should build and participate in a sangha to maintain our practice. Create a living sangha where we can generate mindfulness. We can use our time and energy to build sangha. To be a refuge.

We can use the Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing to cultivate our Buddha body. Sixteen exercises. We learn the first eight exercises.

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Why do I sometimes cry for no reason?

July 11, 2012. 115-minute recording given at Upper Hamlet, Plum Village by Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the fourth dharma talk of the Summer Opening. We begin with chanting and this is a session of Questions and Answers.

Children’s Questions

  1. How are you?
  2. Why is everyone against him?
  3. Why do I sometimes cry for no reason?
  4. How can we let go of anger? (question from Oprah magazine)
  5. What do you do when your teacher makes fun of you and everyone laughs?
  6. Why do I sometimes feel a heavy ball on my heart?

Teens and Adults

  1. Can you say some words about Interbeing of Catholic and Buddhist?
  2. Have you ever been able to calm down a person in rage and angry at you?
  3. I feel a lot of anger sometimes and I don’t want to let it come out, try to control, but sometimes I just explode and hurt the other person.
  4. How do I listen and respect myself versus letting me do whatever I want? Freedom versus discipline.
  5. Question about bi-polar disorder. How can we respond in a more loving and supportive methods than drugs?
  6. How can I trust myself!
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Science of the Buddha: Questions and Answers #2

June 17, 2012. 93-minute dharma talk by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet in Plum Village during the 21-Day Retreat with the theme The Science of the Buddha. The talk is given in English and this is the twelfth dharma talk (of 15). This talk is a session of Questions and Answers.

Questions

  1. I want to go home because cooking materials needed for my special diet is being stolen from my tent in Lower Hamlet. I feel unsafe here. What should I do?
  2. How do we handle training people in mindfulness to address concerns of global warming, food shortages, war, etc.? How fast should we go? How much practice do we need before we can teach?
  3. Can you help me understand the new language in the revised Third and Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings, especially the line about “being known to my family and friends” as it relates to LBGT community?
  4. I have my own ideas/understanding, I’ve been using the practice of “no” (koan) as you described in Zen Keys. Is this good practice?
  5. How to practice letting go?
  6. Three written questions on transmission and karma of illness through the family.  For example, suicide.
  7. What role does Parallax Press and your books have in sharing the dharma and the mindfulness Trainings?
  8. How do I work with internal anger (maybe manifested via external illness)?
  9. Dance and writing
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How Can I Not Suffer When People Are Not Being Good to this World?

October 9, 2011. 105-minute dharma talk with Thich Nhat Hanh from Blue Cliff Monastery in Pine Bush, NY. The sangha is on the North American Tour and this is the third dharma talk for the Stepping Into Freedom, Savoring Life Retreat. Today we have a session of questions and answers.

Our practice to ask a question that will benefit everyone. We begin with the children, then teens, and finally the adults.

  1. When you are very upset, how can you show it without hitting?
  2. Do you ever get frustrated with yourself?
  3. How do I not suffer when people are not being good to this world?
  4. How young were you when you became a monk and what types of commitments did you need to make?

    // brief introduction and discussion on the Wake Up Movement by Br. Phap Luu //

  5. When I have positive and negative energy, what should I do with it?
  6. When I’m engaged in a conversation, I worry about other things. What does it mean to go home to yourself?
  7. Can we still have the consciousness of our loved ones after death? Can we communicate?
  8. A question about the Five Mindfulness Trainings and karma. Is it forgiven?
  9. When I get discouraged or frustrated, I sometimes compare myself to you and it keeps me away and I don’t feel connected to the sangha.
  10. A question about commitment and coming from a place of truth and an unclear understanding from when the commitment was originally made.
  11. A question about attachment, discrimination, and violence.
  12. As a person raised Christian and have felt Jesus, so how can I know absolute truth? Is this it?

You may listen or download the audio from this site or watch the video.

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Our Nature is Non-Local

July 12, 2011. 111-minute Dharma Talk in English given by Thich Nhat Hanh at Upper Hamlet, Plum Village, France. This is the first question and answer session of the Summer Opening Retreat.

Thay takes questions from the children, the young adults, and from other retreatants.

Why do people lie? Why does anger come with sadness? Why do we so easily mixup sexual desire and love? How can we reconcile with someone we’ve hurt? How practice the Five Mindfulness Trainings in the corporate world? Why would someone want to be born into a world of suffering? How do we practice when we still are caught in the idea of having a separate personality? Is Thay a realized Buddha? How do we practice to forgive ourselves? How can we maintain our practice when we live in a place lacking compassion, without a Sangha? How can we make sense of the death of a child before they are born? How can we find happiness again?

The talk was given in English and is available below. There is a video version available too.

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